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APAFrank Pittman Quotes. (n.d.). Jar of Quotes. Retrieved , from JarofQuotes.com Web site: https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=nothing-is-quite-horrifying-paralyzing-as-to-win-oedipal-struggle-to-be-awarded-your-mother-as-prize-frank-pittman
ChicagoFrank Pittman Quotes. Jar of Quotes, 2019. https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=nothing-is-quite-horrifying-paralyzing-as-to-win-oedipal-struggle-to-be-awarded-your-mother-as-prize-frank-pittman, accessed .
MLA"Frank Pittman Quotes." Jar of Quotes, 2019. . https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=nothing-is-quite-horrifying-paralyzing-as-to-win-oedipal-struggle-to-be-awarded-your-mother-as-prize-frank-pittman
Our father has an even more important function than modeling manhood for us. He is also the authority to let us relax the requirements of the masculine model: if our father accepts us, then that declares us masculine enough to join the company of men. We, in effect, have our diploma in masculinity and can go on to develop other skills.
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Parents vary in their sense of what would be suitable repayment for creating, sustaining, and tolerating you all those years, andwhat circumstances would be drastic enough for presenting the voucher. Obviously there is no repayment that would be sufficient . . . but the effort to call in the debt of life is too outrageous to be treated as anything other than a joke.
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It's not that we have too much mother, but too little father. We can't forgive our mothers for taking the place of our fathers until we are ready to see that the point of a man's life is to be a father and a mentor, and we can't do that because we don't know how we would be a father or a mentor when we never had one.
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I'm not suggesting that all men are beautiful, vulnerable boys, but we all started out that way. What happened to us? How did we become monsters of feminist nightmares? The answer, of course, is that we underwent a careful and deliberate process of gender training, sometimes brutal, always dehumanizing, cutting away large chunks of ourselves. Little girls went through something similarly crippling. If the gender training was successful, we each ended up being half a person.
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Most of us have felt barriers between ourselves and our fathers and had thought that going it alone was part of what it meant to be a man. We tried to get close to our children when we became fathers, and yet the business of practicing masculinity kept getting in the way. We men have begun to talk about that.
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In colonial America, the father was the primary parent. . . . Over the past two hundred years, each generation of fathers has hadless authority than the last. . . . Masculinity ceased to be defined in terms of domestic involvement, skills at fathering and husbanding, but began to be defined in terms of making money. Men had to leave home to work. They stopped doing all the things they used to do.
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Once women invented farming, and began to keep and breed animals, they discovered the crucial function of the rooster and the henhouse. Fathers suddenly gained a function, and could do what only women had been able to do for all those millions of years--point at a child and say, "That is my son," "That is my daughter." Patriarchy quickly followed, beginning about five thousand years ago; a very short time in the development of our species, but covering all of recorded history.
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In time, after a dozen years of centering their lives around the games boys play with one another, the boys' bodies change and that changes everything else. But the memories are not erased of that safest time in the lives of men, when their prime concern was playing games with guys who just wanted to be their friendly competitors. Life never again gets so simple.
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Family life in Western society since the time of the Old Testament has been a struggle to maintain patriarchy, male domination, and double standards in the face of a natural drift towards monogamous bonding. Young men have been called upon to prove their masculinity by their willingness to die in warfare, and young women have been called upon to prove their femininity by their willingness to die for their man. Women have been asked to appear small, dumb, and helpless so men would feel big and strong, brave, and clever. It's been a trick.
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At the heart of male bonding is this experience of boys in early puberty: they know they must break free from their mothers and the civilized world of women, but they are not ready yet for the world of men, so they are only at home with other boys, equally outcast, equally frightened, and equally involved in posturing what they believe to be manhood.
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Some parents were awful back then and are awful still. The process of raising you didn't turn them into grown-ups. Parents who were clearly imperfect can be helpful to you. As you were trying to grow up despite their fumbling efforts, you had to develop skills and tolerances other kids missed out on. Some of the strongest people I know grew up taking care of inept, invalid, or psychotic parents--but they know the parents weren't normal, healthy, or whole.
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All those tough guys who want to scare the world into seeing them as men . . . who don't know how to be a man with a woman, only abrute or a boy, who fill up the divorce courts; all those corporate raiders and rain-forest burners and war starters who want more in hopes that will make them feel better; . . . are suffering from Father Hunger. They go through their puberty rituals day after day for a lifetime, waiting for a father to anoint them and say "Attaboy," to treat them as good enough to be considered a man.
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Our ability to fall in love requires enough comfort with our masculinity to join it with someone's femininity and feel enhanced. .. . If our mother made us feel secure and proud in our masculinity, then we want to find that again in our wife. If we are really comfortable with our mother, we can even marry a woman who is a friend rather than an adversary, and form a true partnership.
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The men who are messing up their lives, their families, and their world in their quest to feel man enough are not exercising truemasculinity, but a grotesque exaggeration of what they think a man is. When we see men overdoing their masculinity, we can assume that they haven't been raised by men, that they have taken cultural stereotypes literally, and that they are scared they aren't being manly enough.
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